Jewish Teaching

We Are Responsible for One Another

Posted on September 9, 2022

This week’s parashah, Ki Teitzei, tells parents what to do if they have a stubborn and rebellious child: If a man has a wayward and defiant son, who does not heed his father or mother and does not obey them even after they discipline him, his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him Continue Reading »

There is No Simchah in the Singular

Posted on August 26, 2022

Fun comes in many forms. One can have fun by playing a game, riding a bike, or watching a movie. One can have fun alone or with others. Everyone deserves and needs to have fun. But, as a recent New York Times article notes, over the last two years, with us stuck at home and Continue Reading »

Shabbat Message: It’s A Tree of Life

Posted on August 12, 2022

“Eitz Chayim hi, lamachazikim bah” we sing when we place a Torah scroll in the ark after reading it – “It is a tree of life to those who hold fast to it…” The imagery of trees was in my head as I began writing these words. When I was younger, I did a fair Continue Reading »

The Power of Humility

Posted on July 22, 2022

This week’s reading of Torah brings us to a critical moment of transition in our people’s journey through the wilderness to the Promised Land. Moses, realizing that his end is near, prepares his people to carry on without him. He has glimpsed the land he will not enter and has made his peace with his Continue Reading »

Lessons from Korach

Posted on July 1, 2022

In last week’s Sedrah, Shelach Lecha, the people heeded the report of ten of the scouts sent out by Moses and refused to follow Moses’s directions to begin the conquest of the Promised Land. Amid various murmurings, some even sought a chieftain to take them back to Egypt. In today’s parshah, Korach, a Great Mutiny Continue Reading »

The Torah’s Vision for Life

Posted on May 20, 2022

The Dubner Maggid told a parable about a champion marksman who was passing through a tiny village when he saw a hundred circles drawn on the side of a barn, and in the center of each circle was a bullet hole. The man was so amazed, he stopped his horse and yelled out: “Who is this Continue Reading »

Our Scars are a Road Map to Healing

Posted on April 8, 2022

This has been a time of building up walls and of tearing them down. We have endured a prolonged period of enforced separation to protect us from the dangers of COVID. And many of us have had to tear down walls that were infected with mold spawned by floodwaters from Hurricane Ida. It is as Continue Reading »

We Can Help Heal Each Other

Posted on March 25, 2022

There is a tense moment at the opening of this week’s Torah portion, Shemini. It has been only a year since the liberation of Israel from Egypt and nine months since our people arrived at Mount Sinai. Led by Moses and Aaron, the Israelites have received the Torah and labored to build the Tabernacle that Continue Reading »

Making Room for God and One Another

Posted on March 4, 2022

Having received the Torah at Mount Sinai, our people built a sanctuary to carry God’s presence with them on their journey to the Promised Land. How was this possible? What made it possible to bring God – God who is infinite and beyond time and space – into that space? It was not the beauty Continue Reading »

Shabbat Message: That I May Dwell Within Them

Posted on February 25, 2022

The phone rings… you recognize the number, but you pick up anyway… Hello? Hi! This is Gary from Temple Beth-El, I’m calling about our current fundraiser… we want you to stop sending money… we have too much! Yes, Esther, it is Adar, but Purim aside, this actually happens in this week’s Torah portion, Vayakhel. For Continue Reading »